Ben Forman testifies before Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary

In support of “An Act For Justice Reinvestment”

Testimony Regarding H.2308/S.791  “An Act For Justice Reinvestment” Provided to the Joint Committee on The Judiciary  June 5, 2017 Benjamin Forman MassINC Thank you Chairman Brownsberger and Chairwoman Cronin for this opportunity to provide testimony in support of An Act for Justice Reinvestment on behalf of MassINC and the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. There

Mandatory minimum drug sentences costly mistake

DA talking points obscure real issues

SUPPORTERS OF MANDATORY minimum sentences for drug crimes are circulating a set of disconnected talking points on Beacon Hill that obscure the real issues. The debate is heating up as the Legislature prepares to hold hearings this month on bills that would eliminate Massachusetts laws requiring judges to impose a prison term of a specified

Joint Committee on the Judiciary to hold hearing

Several bills on criminal justice reform will be heard

Monday, June 5 at 1:00pm, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing at which several bills concerning criminal justice reform will be heard. Among them, An Act for justice reinvestment (S.791, H.2308), filed by Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz of Boston and Representative Mary Keefe of Worcester, offers comprehensive reform efforts as well as

Report: Inmate levels down but spending keeps rising

At sheriff facilities, it’s one guard for every two prisoners

THE NUMBER OF INMATES in the state’s prisons and jails is going down, but the cost of operating those facilities is going up, largely because correctional institutions are adding more employees and paying their existing workers more, according to a study by MassINC. The study found that the average daily inmate population of state and

Boston reentry initiative hits the skids

Award-winning program to aid those leaving prison loses federal funding

BOSTON’S WIDELY ACCLAIMED prisoner reentry program, which is aimed at reducing recidivism by helping offenders who are released from prison with everything from employment and housing to addiction services, was quietly shut down last fall when a federal grant funding the efforts wasn’t renewed. The shutdown, which was never announced, is a big setback to

Mass. voters strongly back criminal justice reform, new poll says

Residents favor preventive measures over incarceration

MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS STRONGLY support reform of the state’s criminal justice system, including elimination of mandatory minimum sentences and a greater emphasis on rehabilitation and education programs than incarceration, according to a new poll. Two-thirds of residents said prevention programs for youth and job training and education for inmates should be higher priorities in addressing crime

Legislators call for broader criminal justice reform

State needs to seize the opportunity for change, say lawmakers

LAWMAKERS GATHERED OUTSIDE the House chamber Tuesday to declare their commitment to wide-ranging criminal justice reforms, further evidence of a push on Beacon Hill for changes that go beyond a consensus bill rolled out by Gov. Charlie Baker in February. “We are all here united today because we believe that this session is an opportunity

State leaders unveil bill aimed at cutting recidivism

Officials divided on further changes, Gants urges repeal of most mandatory minimums

STATE LEADERS UNVEILED long-awaited legislation Tuesday aimed at reducing recidivism rates in the criminal justice system. But whether the bill tackles the most pressing issue facing the system or simply marks a good first step in what should be a more sweeping reform process depends on which leader is speaking. That divide is likely to

Senators outline broad criminal justice reform agenda

Lawmakers look to broaden scope beyond pending report

SAYING THE TIME is right for the state to take a look at sweeping criminal justice reforms, a group of Democratic state senators is urging the Legislature to take up bills addressing everything from mandatory minimum drug sentences to fines and fees that lawmakers say are unfairly leading some people to spend time behind bars

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